Yesterday afternoon Kram extended an invite to join him in section 208 for the IronPigs game. I accepted and headed out to Coca Cola Park. While I was at the Opening Day game, I didn’t get to really roam or interact as much as I did last night.
6:15pm – I arrived at the park, said my hellos to the Union st entrance parking friends and found a good parking spot. I was early so I checked out the rear turn signal on my car to ensure it was still working. A couple days ago, Kram let me know it was out and I promptly “fixed” it.. actually the first of several fixes over the weekend to get it (and keep it) working. It worked. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was getting tired of finding routes home that involved only left turns..
6:20pm – I take a seat on an outside bench next to my pal Jimmy. Not Jimmy T. Not Jim Laubauch. You know this Jimmy. He sits on the concourse level behind home plate with his son and a few veteran baseball fans. I guarantee you’ve heard his whistle. I ask Jimmy why the gates aren’t open yet and he says they don’t open until 5:45. We discuss this past weekend’s Steelhawk game. I make note to correct the time on my car radio’s clock.
5:25pm – Decal and his mom arrive. It’s great to see such great friends. The discussion turns to the season ticket holder picnic access coupons.
5:45pm – The gates open and we all enter. I head up to Kram’s level and run into Jorge and Adam at the club bar. I throw them off by ordering a Dr. Pepper vs my standard ginger ale. I grab a very nicely done Jackie Robinson day tshirt (last night’s give away) and toss it to a friend who would fit into an XL. (Yeah, I could stand to lose a few)
5:55pm – The Dipro arrives! He’s got an extra ticket to the Picnic area with our pal Joe. We start to walk down. We stop to chat with an old friend. We again start to walk. We again stop to talk to another friend. We start to walk. We stop to join an usher dancing to the stadium music. We again start to walk, we’re almost at the Picnic area… “Oh Look who it is!”, Dipro shouts… We walk past the picnic area to chat with another friend.
6:25pm – We actually get to the picnic area. (If you’ve never taken a walk around Coca Cola Park with The Dipro, you need to. It’s an adventure!)
The picnic area was pretty nice. I hadn’t checked it out since 2008 and little has changed. Burgers, dogs, pasta, watermelon, cookies, fountain soda.. I grabbed a burger and took a seat. I saw some other friends, long time season ticket holders. Chatted for a bit. Good times.
6:45pm – I head to the Majestic Clubhouse store, determined to buy one of those new desert camo pullover shirts. In and out in 2 minutes. Glad to see the big sizes and heard it’s been a good seller so far.
6:50pm – Ran into another friend Boomerang Dave. Haven’t seen him in a while, and we talked for a bit.
7:00pm – I make it back up to Kram’s level and find Kram waiting for me. We hit the seats and begin to watch the game, each with a pocket radio in our ear to hear the IronPig’s Radioooooo Network. I hear a lot of Jon Schaeffer and wonder where Matt Provence is. I saw (and chatted) with him earlier on the Dipro rounds. Kram cleared it up for me. TV commitments to the Phantoms left a TV spot open and Matt was doing the TV broadcast. Good stuff.
The game started. The game ended. Pigs win.
Some notable notes:
– It wasn’t too cool the entire night. A bit chilly, but comfortable in my new camo shirt.
– I enjoyed the sugar cookies in the picnic area a lot.
– I got to catch up with a lot of old friends, great people and baseball fans.
– I remembered why I love IronPigs’ baseball so much.
10:22pm – I check my turn signal. Still working!
10:23pm – I begin my trip home. With my regained ability to signal right hand turns, I forget the construction happening on Front street and fall into the detour trap. I follow the signs, I look to the sky for directional cues, I drive in the direction I believe will lead me home.
10:45pm – I see a sign welcoming me to Catasauqua. Yikes, I missed a turn somewhere. I reverse direction.
10:50pm – I make a turn to cross the river. Road blocked. I turn around. I get to another crossing. One way street and I’m staring at a Do Not Enter sign. I turn around.
10:55pm – I give up and pull over to use my phone’s GPS. How did I end up in Northampton? The phone guides me back to Rt 145 and I humbly begin my journey home.
11:05pm – Stop at Arbys. It’s been a full 5 hours since my picnic patio burger. An RBI Guy of the Game Beef and Cheddar memory comes to mind. I chant “Roast Beef! Cold Beer! Roast Beef!” in my car waiting in the drive through.
11:15pm – Still waiting in the drive through at Arbys. One car ahead of me. Still chanting “Roast Beef!”
11:20pm – No longer chanting, “Roast beef”
11:25pm – Car ahead pulls out, I get my food and head home.
Needless to say I arrived safely at home nearly an hour after I left. The pup was excited about getting some curly fries and was rewarded for yet another accident free day.
My time keeping and navigation skills aside… It was a great night at the ballpark and gave me a good refresher on how great a community we live in and the great people you find at Coca Cola Park.